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Cause and Effect

Note to self

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Honesty hurts when you’re
getting older.

“Everything’s gonna’
be alright.” That’s what my mom whispered to me as I hid under the sheets
to avoid what I thought was a robbery. Turns out it was thunderstorm that
caused the faux robbery.

I guess my mom didn’t
want me to feel the pain. I tried. I really did, but something that loud is
something unworldly and should be feared. I mean, torrential rains are scary
enough, but add something ear-deafening you got a recipe to keep someone like
me under the covers all day.

 

“Don’t worry
sweetheart, daddy’s gonna’ be home any minute now.”

 

Whenever I feel scared,
my dad’s always there to revitalize my systems and keep me confident 24/7! He
would tell me stories as I drift away to my dreams. I remember vivid trips to
the local park where we would always play pretend and make believe. I would
always climb up a tree and feel like a king and my dad would always be there to
keep a watchful eye, in case I fall of course. And there was this one time
where I sprained my knee real bad and I couldn’t walk on my own for 2 weeks so
my dad had to carry me on his back whenever I had the itch to go somewhere.

I loved moments like this
growing up. I loved that I was loved.

 

But there are also
moments like this.

 

Knock. Knock. Knock.

 

“Guess who?”
says my mom in the most enthusiastic way ever. “Its Dad!!!” I say as
I poke my head out from the sheets to look for signs for my father’s existence
in this house.

Then lightning came
crashing down.  I quickly retreated to
the safety of my cottony shield. I cried and cried until the fear seemed to
steal all my tears.

 

I could hear distant
chatter underneath the sheets, talking about god knows what. A few minutes roll
on and I could’ve sworn I was deaf by then. It was just pure thunder and
lightning. A perfect storm.

 

Just as the storm started
to release more rain unto the land, I was greeted by light coming from the foot
of my door. And just as I was about to hide under the sheets for another bout
of seclusion, my dad came bursting through the door.

 

In my mind I was
screaming hallelujah I could’ve sworn angels turned deaf. I quickly grabbed my
Star Wars themed blanket, jumped out of the poorly constructed pillow fort,
unto the wooden floor, and hugged my father. A pool of tears and snot formed at
the base of his plaid shirt.

 

“Son,” he said
to me in the most reassuring way possible. Both peaceful and calming.

 

“Why are you
crying?” he said.

 

“I’m scared
daddy!”

 

“You’re scared of
lighting!? Son you shouldn’t be scared of such things anymore or else you won’t
become a man someday. You need to grow up you’re already 12.”

 

Then and there I asked my
dad a question I would end up asking myself again and again.

 

“But dad, when will
I grow up?”

 

“Just wait and see.
You’ll know when you’ve grown up.”

 

I tucked myself in that
night, falling asleep and counting on the day I’ll be grown up.

As I progressed through
the years, I noticed something odd. I felt like I didn’t belong, like something
was off. My friends started to tell me this line in variations.

“You’re a guy, you can’t
hang out with girls.”

One by one, they all said
the same thing. In my defense, I didn’t think being the different sexes was a
handicap for friendship. Yet one by one, they all said goodbye.

I guess my fascination of
growing led to a lot of things growing up in high school.

I grew up with the advent
of social media. Everyone living in my time had at least one social media
account and it was most probably facebook. With this, popularity and beauty
became a social requirement. I thought of growing up as being a lot of things.
I thought being a grown up meant being popular. So I started to do things
popular do. I posted things on a daily basis. And this lead to ask myself
“How many likes is my life worth?” I found out the hard way when the
comments became too much to swallow.

“You’re Ugly!” They say.

“To-fat-to-fit-the-frame.”
They added.

“Faggot.” Was the worst
of them all.

This eventually led to hating
myself soo much I often cried to sleep wondering “Why was I made
ugly?” It led to a point where I prayed to become normal. Something my
father would be proud of.

 So I asked him.

“Son, it would make me
the happy if you would be at the top of your class and get every prestigious
scholarship out there so you can have a better future.”

And so I did.

But sometimes I’d get a
different answer.

“Son, grow a pair. Real
men are strong, macho, and masculine!”

And so I did.

But sadly…

I just couldn’t.

So I stuck to doing what
I did best. Being me.

I also thought growing up
was doing grown up things. I saw my dad drinking beer, so naturally, I tried
the taste of it for the first time. I decided that one drink was alright. I
instantly vomitted the bitter liquid out of my system.

I really don’t understand
the things adults do. I really I don’t.

Why do they drink such
vile liquids, smoke such foul smelling substances, and do intoxicating drugs?

Untill one night my dad
came home drunk. That was probably one of the worst and best days of my life.

Worst, because of these
words my dad said to me. “Toughen up son! I didn’t raise you up to become
a sissy!”

I bit down hard on my
lips to distract myself with something more painful than sadness. I spent up
soo much time trying to make my dad proud of me. I did everything he wanted. I
became the class valedictorian for him. I got all the scholarships he wanted me
to have. I learned how to hunt and survive in the woods even if I didn’t want
to. I did all those things for him, but I guess I couldn’t become the kind of
man he wanted me to be. I just hope he won’t take it personal because I can’t
say it to him in person.

But out of all the drama
that came out of the fallout came the best part of it all. I finally knew what
it meant to be grown up.

Because of my experiences
growing up, all the good and bad, I finally had clarity.

The challenge was how do I
fall in love with myself all over again when I’ve learned to hate every inch of
it?

Being a grown up means
learning from the mistakes of the past. Being mature despite the down sets.
Having the capability to wake day after day with the ability to forgive.

Growing up means a lot of
things. To me growing up means having the experience of elder and having the
audacity of a child to come back on top of the world despite the setbacks.

This is my note to self.

 

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