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Finding joy


Iyalua Pope

Photo by Saint Heron

Photo by Saint Heron

What is love at first sight?

.. It's all in my head.

I'm so sorry I misunderstood your intentions. I was busy planning our wedding in my head. I don't even know you but I think we're supposed to stay together forever and ever. I think so.. right? But I can't ask you that. I have to act like I know all of these things, like how a relationship progresses, what I'm supposed to be looking for, my own intentions. I don't have a clue, but I'm too afraid to admit that I don't know. 

Seriously, what am I supposed to say when I don't like something? When I think about it, something tells me to let you know what's on my mind. And I have those exact intentions, I swear. But every moment between the plan and the execution is swaddled in fear. drowning in it. Script forgotten. Soul snatched. And I've made myself look like a fool. In love? hardly. I just look like Medusa and I made eye contact at the worst possible moment. 

Another suppressed memory. More surprised emotions, smothered in a gravy of fearfulness and guilt. I don't even know who I am anymore. God help me.

Photo by GIPHY

Photo by GIPHY

I thought that it was just you. Maybe I wasn't comfortable enough with you to let you know the matters that make me think, that don't sit well with me, the things that make me happy. Maybe it was just a romance thing and maybe I should just chill of that tip for a while. But, every time I tried to speak my mind, the same thing happened. I couldn't relay the message to my friends, my family or even strangers.  I couldn't fix my mouth to formulate the questions I needed answers to It was me.

It was me. I lost something and I couldn't figure out what I lost and where to go to look for it. The person who the outside world knew was too numb. The superficial feelings she did feel didn't penetrate deep enough to make an impact. So what was is it? Every corner of my memory turns up no answers. The outside world is no place to seek validation or answers.

After suffering and heartache (because when sh*t weighs too heavy on your heart for too long, it aches sis), I found what I was looking for. I found her. I found my inner child under a trap door in my memory. 

She was exactly like I left her all those years ago. I had forgotten what she looked like. She was frantic. She said she hasn’t been at peace in years. She’s been lonely. Disconnected. 

I asked her what she had been doing there for all those years and who put her there to suffer? The answer was astounding. 

She told me that it was me, in fact, who had put her there. When I decided to neglect her and all that she had been through. She said I grew up too fast and forgot all about her. I left one day and I told her I would come back, but I got too caught up in the world and instead of nurturing her, I neglected her, the most fundamental part of me. 

Photo by GIPHY

Photo by GIPHY

 And after she told me all of this, I was speechless. I was silent. Stunned. I realized that she was the missing piece to my puzzle. For the first time in years, I felt something. I saw tears come from her eyes and I knew that she held all the essential parts of me. All of this emotions I couldn't feel before, were all bestowed in her. There was nothing left to do but embrace her. And when the tears pour out of my eyes like the Mississippi current, that was confirmation. She is what is missing. I was hidden from my own self. 

She went on to tell me that had I come back, I would not have had to experience all of the tragedy I imposed upon myself. And that after all of this she forgives me and urged me to do the same. Because in order to be forgiving to others, we must first forgive ourselves. 

At the end of our encounter, she said this: 

Three rules to live by: 

1. Don't carry any burdens, especially if they don't belong to you.

2. Question everything. Make sure you can distinguish the blessings from the lessons. 

3. Always speak up for yourself. Don't let anyone make you feel small for relaying the message on your heart.


I'm so sorry I misunderstood her intentions. I don't know why I thought I could ever.