28

At twenty eight, you
will finally be
at peace with yourself.
All it took was
four months of being
loved by someone else,
caressing your hand
with their thumb and
whispering sweetnesses
in your ear.
Six months of
learning what it’s
like for someone to
offer you everything
you’ve ever wanted
and then two weeks
later take it all back.
Watching them offer
it to someone else instead.
One and a half years of
therapy, extrapolating
and hypothesising,
unearthing every hurt,
remembering every tear.
Two years of medication,
coming to terms with
the fact that you are
not strong enough on
your own, but that
does not intrinsically
make you weak.
Two and a half years of
lived with betrayal. That
your love is a commodity that
others will barter with.
Three years of travelling
solo, relying on no one
else to carry your baggage.
Six years of living
out of home, learning to
pay bills, do laundry,
juggle a full time job
and a degree, choosing dinner
over and over and over.
Ten years of anxiety attacks,
a weight on the chest, a crowbar
to the chest cavity.
Twelve years of depression.
The only remnants of
your teenage years a dark
cloud. There is only emptiness here.
Sixteen years of religion,
on and off again.
Making peace with the Lord,
learning to trust someone that is
not yourself. So many others have
broken your heart.
Its hard to see sovereignty
in that.
Twenty years of self loathing
self awareness, knowing your
humanity. Your primary school teacher
will tell you that you have to
make friends at lunchtime,
you can’t just read books.
That making people laugh is better
than being laughed at.
In these years people will forget
that they’ve met you until the third
or fourth time. You are deemed,
forgettable.
But once you learn who you are,
free of swirls of doubt and sadness,
that you laugh easily and hard,
and that people are drawn
to those who take the
time to remember their name.
That tiredness makes your anxiety worse,
but the people you love playing
with your hair will bring you calm again.
That you can never make everyone
happy, no matter how hard you try,
so you may as well enjoy yourself.
Demand tea how you like it,
bail on errands to sit in the sun,
and eat the chocolate cake for dinner.

At twenty eight,
I have finally made peace
with myself.

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