Today was Sunday. April Fool's Day 2012. A perfect day to realize I am not the person I should have been. I am like a tamed fruit tree; stunted, pruned and molded to fit someone's tiny backyard garden. I produce the same fruit I was meant to, but it's bitter, smaller, and sometimes misshapen. A product of my environment. Of those who pruned me, purposefully cropping my outstretched branches to bend me to their will, to keep my in their tiny garden. I am nearly 34 years old and I am so used to being kept, held in line, clipped, cropped, watched, I find ways to inflict it upon myself, because I know no other way. I know there is another way, I know it exists, but I don't know how to get there. The effects of a tumultuous childhood. Linger. The residue of degrading words, unjust punishments, assumed guilt for only innocence. I try to roll the grimy residue off my skin, try to put the pruning shears down. I can't. My hindered muscles have atrophied at my sides. When I let them stretch out to the sun, I feel a thwarting pain. A pain that, if held long enough will subside, but when one feels depleted, one does not choose more pain, does not choose to overcome. The comfort becomes the known, even if the known is despised. Today I choose to stretch. To reach. To put down the shears. To grow. To bear sweet fruit. To heal. I owe this to myself. I long to wipe the steam from the mirror and see the true lines of my face.
photo from flickr