Forty-Something Years in Ninaland

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Oct
12

I could tell you…

photo (7)I could tell you I’m not real, I’m a figment of your imagination. I could tell you this is all hocus pocus. I’m blurry. I could tell you that sometimes I lie, to keep the peace. I could tell you that the story of my life is being edited by me. I could tell you it’s the particular memories I choose as scenes like a movie, that define who I am.

I could tell you I was a pretty baby. I was so full of life, I would make friends in grocery isles, “Hi! Hi!” I would laugh and say to complete strangers, and they would follow me, my spirits were so infectious. I could tell you I went to India when I was like three and came back at like the age of four and a half.

I could tell you I was different after that trip. I no longer laughed uncontrollably. I cried, I thought my parents were going to leave me when they went to work because they left me in India. I thought every day they would never come back. I would hold on to my father’s leg as he tried to get into his car. I could tell you how scraped my knees doing that.

I could tell you I cried all day with the babysitter and once she asked if it was because I didn’t like her new hairdstyle, as she stared at herself in our bathroom mirror. I could tell you when they sent me to preschool and daycare all day at Livonia Little Tots, sometimes I would get hungry because I have Hypoglycemia. They would never give me a snack if it wasn’t snack time. I could tell you how cold the hallway floor was when my mother was late picking me up and the teacher had to stay late and I was hungry. I could tell you sometimes in Kindergarten I didn’t play during recess. I just sat on the bench.

I could tell you hunger made me a chubby child. I could tell you when I went to first grade a girl named Kylee told me I was uglier than her little Native American doll. I could tell you I never fit in in the first grade. Second grade was better, I had a creative teacher who made us make collages and do plays. In third grade I could tell you how my best friend, my cousin, moved in with her family for six months.

I could tell you when they left I would search for their car every time we went to Gurudwara or the Sikh Temple. I could tell you hanging out with my two cousins and my sister were some of the best childhood memories I have. I could tell you we made forts and played doctor. I could tell you my cousin is now a doctor and I’m still making forts.

I could tell you how I thought I was white in my non-diverse neighborhood. I could tell you I was given more than hints that I was different.

I could tell you about how we moved when I was twelve. In my old neighborhood I was the only minority. In my new one, Indians and Asians were everywhere. I could tell you I wasn’t the smartest girl in town anymore. I could tell you I hated math.

I could tell you in high school I got bad acne and went from a pretty girl, to an ashamed girl. It lasted for a year. I could tell you I started to realize I was someone by the time I graduated. I could tell you how my college days were some of the best days of my life. I could tell you I loved reading and writing. I could tell you I was happy.

I could tell you about how I joined the real world as a temp in D.C. and hated it. I could tell you about my boyfriend who threatened to kill himself if I left him.

I could tell you what it’s like to have a panic attack because someone almost sexually attacks you. I could tell you what it’s like to have god talk to you. I could tell you what it’s like to still wonder if that was a delusion.

I could tell you what it is like to be in New York City…at Columbia University…following your dreams. I could tell you what it’s like to be hospitalized because you laughed too loud. I could tell you what it’s like to find out your laughing is a disease.

I could tell you what’s like to not be able to get out of bed except to pee. I could tell you what it’s like to be applauded for your work when you read it aloud in a crowd. That rush, that feeling that you are beautiful, inside and out. I could tell you what it’s like to be beautiful.

I could tell you what it’s like when you lose everything and end up in a hospital again. I could tell you what it’s like to be crazy. To hurt everyone you know. I could tell you what it’s like to go on and off meds, to be sane and insane agin and again. To move to Chicago and New York. I could tell you what it’s like to fail at life.

I could tell you what it’s like to run away from home and go back to New York City. I could tell you what’s like to be homeless and live in hotels. I could tell you what it’s like to finally break down.

I could tell you about the years it takes to recover. I could tell you about the medicines and depression and how it makes you gain weight and lose hope. I could tell you about things getting better and friends, that were there for me from the beginning to the end. I could tell you about losing my best friend. I could tell you about gaining a new one. I could tell you what it’s like to not be able to cry but have so much to cry about.

I could tell you I don’t regret being alive.

I could tell you that this rollercoaster is now steady. I could tell you I could have another breakdown at any moment in my life.

I should tell you I don’t care, I’m going to live anyways.

“God already knows what we’re made of, but perhaps He wants us to learn what we’re made of. I think we would all agree that we learn more from our tough times than from our easy times.”—-John Bythew

nina

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 October 12th, 2015  
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