i spent most of my childhood narrating my life in third person. waiting for the portal to open, and take me away to some fantasy realm, which i would save someday. ’cause i was gonna charge into battle like a knight in shining armour, with my mentor behind me. i’d make lots and lots of friends, and call them my new family, so i’d never miss home. i’d go on lots of adventures, and maybe even get a movie, so bunch of grown-ups could make millions off my fate. and in the back of my mind, i’m still waiting.
still walking through lonely forests and opening up musty cupboard doors, just in case, and talking to the girl in the mirror like she knows what to do. because it’d be nice to run away. and finally see that land i take myself too when reality gets too loud to face; some weird self-soothing mechanism, or maybe i really was just born this way.
and when i fill out application forms, and talk to the guidance counsellor, i see the whole world stretched out before me. it is plastic, and glistening, and suddenly: i am ten years old: at the shopping mall with no money, running hands over fifty-dollar coats and dreaming of someday.
and in my head, there are a thousand different voices, competing for attention. in my head, i am clawing my way up a wall of rankings with my bare hands. i am constantly keeping score. even when no one asked, even when i’m the only person who gives a shit about this anymore.
in my head, i am flawless and beautiful. in my head, i am the worst person alive. and i don’t know which one of those is true, but just to be safe, i fade quietly to the background. i wear big t-shirts, and the same fucking pair of jeans for three days. i don’t say anything at all.
i shatter at the slightest critique, avoid conflict like the plague. and i know i can be wrong, i know the world is not always out to get me. but in my head, it’s a war zone; every last inch of it. so i’ll put on my armour, and i’ll rush into the fray, knowing full well that the only person i hurt was myself today.