The Girl Who Had It All

Illustration by Jiwoon Pak

Illustration by Jiwoon Pak

When I met her, the sun was shining high upon the azure sky. She was a marvellous chaos just like the waves of the sea that either swim slow and calmly towards the shore or furiously run their stream through the grains of sand. You almost never know what to expect. The force that drove her life seemed amazing to me, the one who thought that being quiet and steady was what the world wanted and approved of, what the world needed. But when I met her, I realized that the world is what you make for yourself.

Her wide smile was gleaming with the satisfaction of laughing once again. The bright blue eyes with little black dots looked everyone in the face with no distraction and knew no boundaries of what is wrong and what is right. And they seemed happy. The wind made out with her long blonde hair as if wanting to spread her happiness through every single leaf and petal that nature had to offer. Her exaggerated reactions made me think that she was trying to live by others’ rules, but in the end I realized she was only living for herself, despite what anyone else was thinking. She was always exploring, always looking for the untold in the mundane. Her small and thin body seemed to me too little to contain all of her big dreams and opportunities.

At first, I felt belittled by her presence because she had everything I had never managed to achieve: the confidence with which she breathed, lived and felt, as if there was no second left to spare from her joyful youth; the courage with which she said so many stupid things without even thinking twice of the consequences; the bravery with which she made amazingly ugly faces without fearing that she will be remembered by them. She lived to the fullest and it was everything I had ever dreamed of.

I thought she had it all.

And then the wind started to blow and the clouds began to shift and the sun was no longer shining. All of the liveliness that was once positive and illuminating began to surrender to the dark thoughts that were actually composing her. Each time she looked in the mirror she saw the same old face with the same old smile and it didn’t please her anymore. There was nothing new and enchanting so she could no longer bear it. Her mind could not rest in the frustration that was gathering brick by brick and she could not achieve the smallest task because her thoughts were rambling, ambushing one another. The anger and sadness that were gathering upon her face made her eyes look like a quiet thunderstorm. Not being able to attain anything, she sat in the silence of her walls, going crazy over the fact that she is no good, useless. The force that was once used in order to laugh harder was now transformed into tears, shouts and screams. Whenever she opened her mouth, the joyful jokes were replaced by incomprehensible and heartbreaking moans. So she continued to sit in silence, fighting herself over and over again.

The moment I understood that was the moment I learned that the brightness I had seen before has its source in the never-resting soul of her. The beautiful face is actually made out of desperate struggles of trying to hide behind the mask that she is always wearing. Because behind it, lay monsters she cannot conquer.

She cannot see the funny faces she makes and so she prefers to hide inside the house, far away from the outside world, preparing for the moment she has to leave her sacred space and put on the mask again. She cannot hear the jokes she makes so she would rather sit in silence as if she doesn’t have anything good to say. She cannot feed her soul with the attitude she wears on the street so she prefers to hinder in the solitude of her room.

She doesn’t confide in other people’s words that tell her how amazing she is and doesn’t even have the patience to listen to them. She only trusts her demons despite the fact that she hates them all so much. She never understood that the power she has over the mask is actually the same she could have over the predators that destroy her from within, ripping her piece by piece. In her better moments, she entertained the notion that she might be able to change because she cannot sustain this way of living for too long. She cannot see herself for who she really is so she is always running, only to find herself later all over again.

And so I got to thinking: would she ever be able to see the girl I saw at first, the girl who had it all?

Written by Cora Bundur