Aimee Wall, “On Kate Zambreno’s Heroines, Being Too Much and Taking Up Space.”
read if you are a girl, maybe read if you are a boy. wall’s essay speaks my gender’s: doubt of expression, tendency to passively inact, and self-imposed censorship. on a related note: i theorize that girls can readily judge others because our actions are so precisely calculated, that earnest acts arouse discomfort (or humor, on my part).
there’s a part of me that feels i don’t deserve to be sad. i’ve been thinking since i’ve heard the news this morning about all the things that i’ve never told people, of all the things that i’ve worried about that should’ve been thrown out of the realm of my concerns. i hardly knew him, hardly spoke to him — was too shy to tell him how handsome i thought he was. five years ago or so we were on the same cross country team, and i thought he was so cute. every time since then that i’ve spoken to him i always left with a smile. i don’t know what to write, really. i opened up my journal, wrote the date across the top of the page, felt disgusted at my handwriting and closed it, shoving it into the bottom of my bag.
there are so many things that you don’t know about other human beings. there is this insurmountable sadness that permeates all of our lives regardless of how happy you seem to be and how happy you make yourself. there is an unavoidable melancholy, and so many people don’t understand that about others. everyone has problems. everyone has demons that they need to fight, and so often we think that our own lives are harder than the ones around us. so often we make catastrophes out of broken glass. i hardly knew him, but i knew he was loved. and i guess that’s enough to break my fucking heart. i think about the time i tried ending my life — something that only s knows about, all those years ago — and how much i have grown into loving myself, loving the world, loving even the worst scenarios today. i was so sad. i was so lost. i was gone, disconnected from myself and this world and i thought that the easiest thing to do would be to leave. so many of the people that i love talk of death so casually to me. maybe because they know i’ll understand. maybe because i’ve been there, too. i barely knew him, but now when i think about him all i can see is his smile and then nothing. i still have suicide notes somewhere in my room. i think of my uncle who killed himself, of my family members who have suffered from depression for so long but have made it through somehow. i think of how strong and how beautiful the people i know are for fighting through what they thought they could never beat. i feel like crying but i don’t know if i deserve it. we are all so human and sometimes we make mistakes that we can’t take back and all we can do is hope that others can learn that there are other ways to be reborn than with a bullet.
i don’t know what this is, really. maybe it’s a plea for people to start understanding one another. maybe it’s me asking of everyone to hold onto what they love and learn, quietly, softly, to love themselves in the process. i want the people in my life to know how much they mean to me. i have caused so much sadness with my life, from birth to now. i have caused so much grief and i wish the world knew how i never mean to hurt another human being. i never want to cause another sadness again. at the gym after i heard, i ran half of what i was used to and sat in the locker room and didn’t know how to deal with the idea of impermanence, of presence and then absence and i sat there and trembled and listened to ‘the air that i breathe’ and sat there and shook and shook some more. every atom of my being wants to live now, for everyone whose life i’ve brushed up against and for everyone who has left even the slightest mark on me. sadness is a global epidemic, but we are allowed to open ourselves up and allow some love in. even a little. even the slightest.
relevant to all.