By Bella Temkin, TIWP Student
“Your innocent understanding of the world moves toward something messier and more complicated, and once it does, you can never go back…” — Khaled Hosseini
When I was young, my eyes were strangers compared to the ones I cradle now. They saw things with more hope. I believe that’s the right word.
I would see a man walk down the street and think, “Wow, he must be such a kind guy.”
I would see a woman with her child sleeping in her arms and think, “Look how easy it is to be a mother.”
I would see a boy smile and think, “He must be so happy.”
My brain was so raw then. It was uncooked, unseasoned. You know how when you open a fridge, the light goes on? At that time, it was like my raw brain had been so preserved in the darkness of that fridge, that it had no light. I believe now that in order to shake hands with reality, you need lots of light. As I am older now, I think that my eyes grow faster than any other part of my body. I see things everyday that puncture the distorted fantasies of my past, allowing light to seize my life.
Light is eye-opening. It can be so beautiful, highlighting why life is so valuable. Light is the reason why I can’t wait to get up in the morning. I am in love with light. But what you have to understand though, at least to understand me, is that in my eyes, light can be vile. It can be heartbreaking and it can make you hate the things you thought you loved, which sucks because life is the truth. This means that people really are murdered, women really are raped, families really are separated, people really do cheat, love really does die, and people really aren’t always okay.
In my seventeen years of life, though I know my brain is only partially seasoned, I have seen enough to have doubt in our world. Deep down, sparks of my innocence still flicker and I do believe that maybe most people really are good. Do I believe that though? Or am I in denial that maybe that man I saw walking down the street wasn’t so kind? I do believe that raising someone in this world is so beautiful. Do I believe that though? Or am I in denial that that woman worked so hard to get her baby to fall asleep just so it could dream of a world that isn’t ours? I do believe that people are happy. Do I though? Or am I in denial, again? What if that little boy, what if my best friend, or my little sister, or my teacher, or my dad, what if they aren’t always happy? I would like to hope so.
However, this is what people think…. people are the same inside as they are on the outside. The most light I have ever experienced in my life flooded my brain when I realized that statement was false. There are bad people out there. There are people that seem kind, but will manipulate you and lie to you and break your heart. Keep your guard up at all times and be careful who you love. But people are also so beautiful. People are light in themselves.
Good or bad, I now believe everyone comes into my life for a reason. Life is not a fairytale, but a learning experience. Everything that happens, happens for a reason. Just keep the fridge open.