A lot of people glance at me twice when I tell them I’m not going back to school next semester. Well, originally that is how it began anyway. With the subtle lies of “oh I may be going back” to “I’m just taking a semester off” to my absolute favorite one: “I’m not sure yet.” I roll my head back and chuckle uncontrollably at such bullshit. Absolute rubbish.
I refuse to go back to that mental hole encompassed with overly revisited dreams and lonely lecture halls. I cannot emotionally allow myself to enroll back into a living hell—a tactically induced sadness that loved to announce itself abruptly and suck the droplets of my happiness and condense them into 9,000 negative thoughts. Opening my eyes daily to memorizing scientific names of medications I would never prescribe may have just been the insanity which Einstein spoke of. That forsaken melancholic state of numbness could no longer be tolerable.
I gave in to self.
And that, that is why “I’m dropping out of school.”
Yet, school is perhaps not the convict here, just an accomplice.
The decision to live free truly began when I sat my boyfriend down on a Masai blanket in the pollinated Tennessee grass. I smiled remembering the many memories shared on that very same place. Peaceful. Jazz music playing in the background, as it was always his thing. It was not truly news to either of us, for deep down inside we already knew conception had taken place; nonetheless, he waited in anticipation.
“We’re going to name her Izrayel.”
“I like that. Izrayel.”
It was right then and there that life instantly bore a greater purpose. Love was exchanged in those morning hours regurgitating any evidence of nourishment from the day prior. Not just love, but actual LOVE. The kind of love that numbs a laboring mother from pain when her breasts exchange warmth with the chest of her newborn baby. The kind of love heard when a father races around frantically in search of his lost child while screaming out their name in tears. That love. A love that cannot be described, yet exists so profoundly in the depth of one’s being.
I had never once felt something so intense. An entire spectrum of emotions in a single twenty four hour long period could be expected from me. The unpredictability of the future drove me to strive to provide the best which I could for my child.
“Dad I have something I need to tell you.”
“Don’t cry, please don’t cry. A baby is a blessing from God. Please don’t cry Esther, it might hurt the baby.”
The stuffy dorm room held the scent of dried tears, relief, and overdue assignments. Picking up weights was exchanged with picking up shifts as I watched my body drift further and further away from fit. These slight body changes were apparently not all that slight to my mother when she came to visit me.
“Esther don’t tell me you’re…”
A mother that knew their child needed no confirmation, it was evident.
After rubbing ointment on my belly and glancing at a monitor, the doctor spewed out something along the lines of “….no heartbeat….”
“What do you mean no heartbeat?!”
The stuffy dorm room now held the scent of dried blood, disbelief, and curses towards God. Finals week devoured any ounce of energy in which I had left.
was is gone.
I have known love through my body experiencing Izrayel for the brief time which I did. As soon as I named that child I promised myself to give her a life abundantly filled with the things which mattered. According to every wise being that ever walked the Earth, the most proficient way to heal partially closed wounds is to revisit painful memories. I revisit that doctor’s appointment all too often and now, that pain forces me to live that abundant life for myself as well.
I know not what life will gift me with when I awaken every morning, but there are few things I do know that I strive to live by (and some I try very, VERY hard, but not there yet).
They are as follows:
Live life as abundantly as life will will you to, Esther. You could be but a mere memory tomorrow.
Make sure the people you love know that you love them while both of you are still alive.
Take time to smell the roses.
Money comes and goes, but that is not a motivator to surrender one’s freedom for.
Be passionate and chase these passions deliberately.
Dance the night away.
Allow yourself to experience the now. Take it all in.
Sunrises and sunsets are free, try not to miss them.
Travel wherever you can whenever you can. Indulge in culture.
Love and love immensely.
L I V E F R E E .
The last thing I ever want to tell my children is “I’m so tired” after coming home from a long day of being mediocre.