By T.W. Abel
No one tells you that your boobs will grow in at twenty-two. It’s the best kept secret. No one tells you that at twenty-three, you will develop cystic acne that looks like it belongs to a very hormonal teenage boy. But, like all things, it will heal in time. No one tells you that at twenty you will develop an anxiety disorder. And panic attacks. No one will tell you how to treat them either, especially doctors. But guess what? You will learn on your own. You will recover and grow through the concrete boundaries like the smallest seed in the crack, sprouting towards the sky. I promise you, you will.
No one tells you that your parents will be the empty bowls that you will have to fill again and again. But the bowls will be there and you will fill them with good intention, with acceptance and compassion, and in time, forgiveness. You will repeat this all of your life. No one tells you that it’s okay to not fit in with the family you were born into. You are not broken or bad. You are sacred and a being who is deserving of love. No one tells you how to breathe – this seems silly, right? We were born knowing how, but somewhere along the road, we started breathing in a reverse cycle causing more ill effects than imagined. No one tells you not to blame yourself – that what you feel, no matter what in the holy hell it is, is valid. And okay. And you must not blame yourself, or anyone else, for the same reason that it will eat at you. No one tells you to sit in silence. To let whatever arises be present. You will want to run and scream. You will cry and shake and ache in places you didn’t know were capable of feeling pain. But stay. Please, stay.
No one tells you that American (and all worldly) “success” is an illusive fallacy, a smoke-and-mirrors effect created by capitalism and oppression. No one tells you the true issues of our society and culture, the faces of oppression resulting in violence, cultural imperialism, and exploitation. No one tells you that when people act out in anger and in cruelty and in violence, they are hurting. They are in so much pain themselves, they are blinded by tension and primal emotions with little logic, compassion, and empathy to rely on.
No one tells you that you are wonderful as you are. You will hear from others of your flaws, you will know your insecurities through the faces of other people–but I will tell you, you are loved as you are. Through this recognition and self-cultivating love, you will give your own self the permission to change and grow and, ultimately, just be. But no one ever tells you this.