I am sick to my stomach with anger,
fuming at the inconsistency of human values.
You see, sometimes I’m scrolling through Facebook or eating dinner or trying to fall asleep, and I remember.
We live in a world where people are raped. Every day.
Where people are stolen from. Not just their money or the expensive jewelry in their dresser,
but their identity.
Or their own children.
Girls and boys and women and men starve themselves.
They look in the mirror and hate themselves.
Our skin is inked with blood that the sharp edges of our thoughts forced to kiss the oxygen in the air.
It makes my head hurt.
I believe in so much good. I believe in acceptance and forgiveness and, most of all, love.
I believe humans are intrinsically good.
I believe in God.
But I don’t always understand why He lets my family members get cancer. Or why He lets my friends suffer through depression or develop schizophrenia or experience a sexual assault.
Why do wives get beaten?
Why is a marriage between two men or two women valid in one state and not in another?
Why are there hit-and-runs and serial killers and why is there no law mandating paid leave for mothers of newborns?
God, for a world that offers so much sunshine, why are there some days where I can only see dark, gray clouds?
Days where I want, so badly, to love the world,
but I can’t.
Sarah Kay, a spoken word poet that used to pay visits to my high school, wrote a poem to her future daughter and said,
“No matter how wide you stretch your fingers, your hands will always be too small to catch all the pain you want to heal.”
There are days where I fear this is true.
There are days where I know it is.
I exist in a time where I am scared. I exist in a time where I’m scared that there will be no parking on my street, as I drive home from the library after midnight, because I don’t want to have to park around the corner and walk down a street alone at night.
But there are nights where I have to.
I have to put my ‘big girl pants’ on and hold my keys tight in my left hand, ready to jab, and my phone in my right, ready to dial 911 should anyone mistake me for a weak, unprepared college girl.
And I walk in the middle of the street. Because Emilie Autumn taught me that the odds are actually in my favor,
“In the States, someone is killed in a car accident on average every 12.5 minutes, while someone is raped on average every 2.5 minutes.”
So, to the middle of the street I go and I exhale with relief when I am inside with the door locked shut.
The door to my thoughts, however, is not as easily closed once it is opened.
Most days I see the sun when it beams down on my skin.
I smile on my walk to class, I sing to myself, and I feel confident for the world we live in and where we can take it in the many years to come.
The other days come swiftly, without warning, and intercept all optimism and productivity.
I fight them with all I have.
They tell me, “There are terrible diseases that have no cure.”
I tell them, “No cure yet.”
They tell me, “That friend is gone, you will never see them again.”
I tell them, “They are waiting for me somewhere else.”
They tell me, “The world is full of pain.”
I tell them, “Only for now.”