A Child at Heart

“Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up.” – Pablo Picasso

Children grow up way too fast.

I’m sure in my parents’ minds, it was only yesterday that I was 4 and got lost in the shopping center back in KSA and my mother searched frantically for me, the shrill cries of her shouting my name still audible in my memories.
And now, I’m a sort-of-mature 18 year old who is meandering through life and trying to find her calling. But I’m still pretty childish, so I guess they haven’t ‘lost’ me completely yet. And hopefully never. Life’s more fun this way.

I’m the youngest in my family, so the closest thing I’ve had to younger siblings were my cousins. The first younger cousin I had was born when I was 6 years old. Naturally, I immediately took my role as big sister very seriously and I doted on him a lot. I still remember the funny things he used to say and all his crazy antics. And now he’s turning 13 this year and he’s so grown up and I feel like time has flown by way too fast.

When we’re children, most of us spend every moment of our lives doing things to keep us entertained, whether it’s playing silly games or hobbies like reading and watching T.V. I remember my childhood being rich with crazy and embarrassing activities, one of them being that I had dreams of becoming a famous Youtuber and perfecting my signature, just in case I had to sign autographs for fans of mine. I cringe at that memory now.

And then as I got older, I started losing my ambitiousness and my activities became more dull than fun, and I became a lot quieter whereas I was once a known chatterbox. Puberty hit me and things changed: I became more reserved and kept my crazy side more in check.

I miss her desperately. She was really fun to hang out with. And she had the most wildest of imaginations. I mean I still am all of that, but now I’m too cautious about things that I do and say. Which is both a good thing and a bad thing, I suppose.

But as we grow up, we all lose a part of ourselves, and no matter how hard we try, we can never get it back the exact way it once was.

That side of mine is still somewhere in me, and although I can’t channel her in my daily life, I can let her loose in my writings and stories. Her ideas and imagination, I mean, because her English skills were horrible and I don’t want those back now, nope.

I may be older now but I still have that childish and excitable streak in me.

And it intends to stick around for a while.

© Ashes 2018


Artwork by Martina Stipan

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Change

Today, I went to visit my old school, the place where I studied for 12 years, the place that has essentially played a major role in making me the person I am today.

I remember sitting there, my friends around me talking and laughing and being their brilliant, merry selves and feeling happier and lighter than I have in a long while.
But unfortunately I have a tendency to zone out and get lost in my thoughts, and I was reminded of a sad truth today.

It happened when my friends brought up a sensitive topic that we all had different opinions about. This time, they were all in favor of something which I too was in favor of once, but my view regarding it had changed in the past 2 years and I sat silently and slightly uncomfortably as I let them finish talking about it.

It was a sad reminder that I had changed. That we had all changed in more ways than one. That we had lives apart from each other now and although we intend to stay in contact for a very long time, things can never again be like they once were.

A small part of me was also afraid, that maybe if they knew what my opinions were now, they’d be disappointed or uncomfortable to be in my presence.
I’m at the point in my life where I’m trying to accept myself, quirks and flaws and all, so doubts like these tend to pop up in my mind quite often.

I know change is inevitable. As someone who hasn’t experienced much change in her life until just recently, even the smallest changes still give me pangs of anxiety. I’m learning though. And trying to adjust. We are always growing and changing. We were growing when our lives were intertwined, and we are still growing when our lives are apart.
It’s these changes that determine who stays in your life and who doesn’t. I know that there’s only so much I can hold onto the people in my life, and that the rest depends on them and whether or not they wish to stay.

I just hope that despite all the changes to come, the people who I currently consider the closest to me get to stay in my life for a really long time.

© Ashes 2018

R.I.P. Chester Bennington

Lately there has been so much pain in my heart, everything feels unreal. I find myself wanting to cry about the simplest of things. My heart feels like it has acid being poured on it. My head feels foggy all the time. A lot of times I don’t remember my actions, or the reasons behind the ones I actually do remember.

Today, I found out about the death of Chester Bennington and that was the last straw for me.

I broke down. I let out more than I have in quite a while through my tears and sobs. I lost a piece of my childhood today. I keep reliving all the memories now, all the songs of Linkin Park that I grew up listening to, that matter to me more than I had realized. The lyrics to the songs were with me through the hard times in my life. And while they’re still alive, the person behind them is gone and I feel so much pain. So many people, including me, have lost someone today; someone who we may never have met or seen perform, but whose words touched us deeply.

I don’t know what kind of pain you must have been in, Chester, for you to have ended your life the way you did. But I’m sorry for all that might have led you to that point in your life.

When my time comes
Forget the wrong that I’ve done
Help me leave behind some
Reasons to be missed
And don’t resent me
And when you’re feeling empty
Keep me in your memory
Leave out all the rest

Rest in peace, Chester.
You will forever be in our hearts.
You will forever be missed.

© Ashes 2017