The mantra of every kid growing up in a broken home once they finally found their way out of the dark-
“I shouldn’t be here.” Like life tried it’s damndest to make sure we didn’t happen.
We equate ourselves to shots in the dark, rogue trains and unflat surfaces. The road tried to make us imperfect as children.
Our hearts, tarred and feathered before we could feel them beat ourselves. We were fed shame through our umbilical chords. The letters D-O-A stamped in invisible ink next to every time we tired to write our names.
With small hands we scaled the earth understanding that that it was just the way we got around but only because we were told and we never knew why.
When the doctor would ask me “Point to where it hurts” I held my finger to my chest every single time.
“I shouldn’t be here” we told our principals when we stood up to the monsters at school maybe more than they deserved because we could not escape the ones at home.
“I shouldn’t be here” in every therapy session because you heard once you were born perfect but can’t remember the last time you felt that way. Maybe the words came from your fathers lips as he threw a bottle across the room, or your mother who tried to justify all those years of your hope chained to a dial tone.
But despite all this, we got here anyway. We became artists-painting the landscape of our futures because out of dirt grew audacity. We took the splinters of our broken hearts and fastened a life boat out right of there. We took faith away from a spiteful god and gave to ourselves. We became tenacious and giving, loyal and strong.
We fear not the road ahead because there is so much of it already behind us. We did not move mountains, we climbed right over them and looking out over the vastness of our young histories we felt present in such away that only calloused people understand. We changed “I shouldn’t be here” to “I’ve arrived.”